I had the privilege of travelling to Myanmar on behalf of Voice of the Martyrs from 13 to 17 June.
Our destination was Myitkyina, to connect with leaders who were helping to organise an emergency project to feed 2700 people.
Many of the Christian Kachin folk of North Myanmar, have been displaced through persecution, and they have been forced to leave their homes, churches and villages, as the government has declared an ethnic cleansing of minority Christian groups.
Together with our contact on the ground in Myanmar, we were able to muster 100 volunteers, putting together 532 emergency packs, consisting of rice, beans, salt, sugar, oil, condensed milk, garlic, onions, matts, mosquito nets, clothes and washing powder. We provided $16,000 for the packs and were able to source Christian wholesalers to purchase the items.
The packs were distributed to approximately 2700 people in several camps, over two weeks so that it would not be too conspicuous, as the military had restricted access to the camp. Distribution was completed, either by night or by selected avenues through the fence unnoticed.
During this most recent conflict, houses and motorbikes were destroyed and burnt, many were killed and wounded in the cross fire, wives became widows, women were raped, children became orphans, and people lost their homes and farms.
Having to run for their lives, avoiding the onslaught of the military, roads were also blocked, (with plans to trap those escaping), so families had to resort to running through bush terrain on foot, as this was their only chance. This they did for five days, (surviving the elements), until they arrived at a place of temporary safety.
The Assemblies of God church in Myanmar purchased land and provided a safe haven for the displaced, who were able to build make shift tents for homes, this location is called Camp Tanai.
While villages were being taken over by the military, those who were slow to leave were arrested and taken to prison tortured or killed.
At the temporary refugee camps, strict rules are in place, as the military only allow the women and children to leave and enter, and not the men. The reason is, that the Buddhists try to persuade the women and children to recant their faith and turn back to Buddhism, then train them in the religion of the government.
This is happening in many parts of the world, for Christianity and the Bible are a threat to their governments and their government systems.
Sickness is prevalent, being that these makeshift camps are so congested with limited food and clean water, causing dysentery, colds and flu.
While I was there, I asked these persecuted believers, would you like to go back to your village and re-build? Their answer was no, for they are certain they would be killed.
We are looking to continue with the work in Myanmar among the persecuted Kachin people in the north.
Please pray for our Kachin brothers and sisters.
Brother ‘Xi’ has been falsely accused of human trafficking because of his Christian activities in Burma. “I have peace in the Lord, though I was falsely accused because of my faith and Christian activities,” he said.
“The opposition has tried to cause me problems in many ways. But the more I face persecution in my life the more my church members and I grow in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our prayers always work.”
Please pray for Brother Xi, whose court case is expected to take several months. VOM is helping with
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of Brother Xi; pray he will continue to be dependent on the Lord, even in the midst of suffering and uncertainty.
- Pray the Lord will be glorified through Brother Xi’s testimony; may other believers in Burma be encouraged to stand firm when tested.
- Pray the truth of this case will come to light; pray justice will be done.
Burma (Myanmar) is ranked at number 23 according to the World Watch Monitor’s list of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted. It is recognised as having very high levels of persecution.
The Burmese government claims to support freedom of religion, but it has since banned all independent house church activities from 2010. Religious groups face surveillance, imprisonment, discrimination, violence, destruction of property and censorship of religious materials. To read more about Burma, click here
There are many obstacles being a Christian in Burma, so there is a strong need for future generations of pastors to lead the church to remain faithful despite persecution. Thirteen Three sponsors Bible college students in Burma in order to see the Gospel spread in this difficult country and to help train future generations of pastors and leaders.
Meet 13:3’s sponsored Student: Elizabeth
Elizabeth is a fourth year Bible college student. She is one of the next generation of leaders being trained to serve in Burma. We asked Elizabeth a few questions about her student life.
How did you become a Christian?
I became a Christian through the teaching of my mother. I believe on His finished work for me, and accepted Him as my Saviour. As John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
What would you like to do after college?
I want to serve the Lord in children’s, women’s and youth ministries after college. I am not sure exactly what the Lord would have me do. I am praying for His direction.
Have you had any recent outreach opportunities?
I had opportunity to go on a short mission trip in December with two college girls. We gave out Gospel tracts on streets and shared the Gospel with children and adults. We were able to reach more than 90 people with the Gospel. Among them, one person clearly professed faith in Christ. It was such a blessing to be there and serve God.
How can we pray for you?
Pray for wisdom in making the right decisions.
Thank you so much for supporting me, and I want to say, “May God bless Voice of the Martyrs’ ministry and all the staff!”
The next generation of pastors and leaders in Burma are willing to serve God in areas where they could be mocked, ridiculed, beaten, arrested and even martyred. Often what is hindering them is the need for financial assistance for their training. Will you partner with them in the spread of the Gospel in restricted areas by investing in the next generation of pastors and leaders like Elizabeth?
Sponsor a Student